Folklore group JAN CHI MA DANG

Artistic director Seo Gwang-il

Korean traditional percussion group “Jan chi man dang”, founded in 1992 in Incheon city, is famous for the musicians’ mastery and impressive performances. No wonder that the group participate and win in various European and Asian festivals, and in 2014 they played at Asian Games. The musicians play with the small gongs, gongs, drums and pipes. They also teach children about folklore.

In the festival the group will perform together with dancers and singers and will play in several different ways. One of them is “Samul nori” (“Samul” means “four objects” and “nori” – “to play”). Four musicians sit on the ground and play traditional music pieces with the old instruments that originate in farming culture and mimic the sounds of weather: janggu is an hourglass-shaped drum and sounds like rain, kkwaenggwari, a small gong, has the sound of thunder, a larger gong jing echoes wind, and buk – drum – flows like clouds. According to beliefs, Korea was founded on Chun-Ji-In – respectively on heaven, Earth and people, thus, buk and janggu symbolize the sounds of the Earth, jing and kkwaenggwari ­stand for the sounds of heaven, and the musicians playing music and enjoying it are the people. Another way of playing is “Sul jan-go”, when the musicians show off their mastery with janggu music. “Jin-do buk nori” performer varies the rhythm by beating the drum, which hangs on his shoulder, during ceremonies or farming celebrations. And here is “Pan-gut” – a combinations of aforementioned percussions and dancing also accompanied by brass instruments; if the musician dances, he plays with sogo – a small and soft drum.

Thousands of years old traditional Korean dance “Chook won mu” originated in shamanistic rituals. The moves follow a curvilinear path, the dancer’s legs and feet are conceived by billowing hanbok, and in faces, the sombreness and joy intertwine, since the dancer embodies the music. The songs “Bae-Chi-Gi” and “Sul-Bi-Ta-Ryung” are about fishermen, who have finally filled their boats with fish and are now singing joyfully from their hearts.